Rita Potter, American Mercury Executive Secretary, Dies at 98

RITA M. POTTER (pictured), 98, of Ridgefield, Connecticut died on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. She worked for the American Mercury as an executive secretary to Editor Paul A. Palmer in 1938, and, after a period of service as a WAC member in World War 2, returned to the Mercury in 1946, again in an executive secretary position, serving under both Editor Lawrence E. Spivak and Managing Editor Charles Angoff.

She served as  a staff sergeant during World War II in charge of correspondence for the Paymaster Department, Marine Headquarters, Washington, D.C. She marched in Ridgefield’s 2012 Memorial Day parade.

After her work for the Mercury, she worked at Electro-Mechanical Research Inc. in Ridgefield and Sarasota, Fla., where she moved with the company in 1957 and then returned in Ridgefield. She later worked at CGS Laboratories, Inc.

Rita Potter in the 1940s
Rita Potter in the 1940s

During her time at the Mercury, she worked and corresponded with many individuals of historic significance, and her correspondence was mentioned in Alexander P. de Seversky and the Quest for Air Power by James K. Libbey and Baldwin of the Times: Hanson W. Baldwin, a Military Journalist’s Life, 1903-1991 by Robert Davies.

Born in 1916, she was the oldest surviving member of the American Mercury staff. We offer our thanks and recognition for her service on the Mercury and for the cause of independent journalism, and our condolences to her family and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will celebrated on Saturday, Feb.28, at 1:15 p.m. in St. Mary Church; there will be no calling hours. Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield, is in charge of arrangements.

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